Do you need an alarm clock? If so, you might be ‘out if sync’ with your own body, experts say

When it comes to one’s health, there are many things that need to align for the whole process to be as efficient as it can be. An important aspect is often overlooked, but due to emerging science the way we do things may change forever, and here is why.

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Our overall quality of life and productivity does not just depend on what we eat or do, or how many hours a night we sleep. But also on when we do what we choose to do.

Numerous studies conclude the vital role aligning your daily activities with the natural cycle of your biological rhythm, plays. Each of us has an optimal time to wake up and fall asleep, and when our energy peaks throughout the day. 

Your personal biological rhythm is known as your ‘chronotype,’ when the time you sleep doesn’t correspond with your biological downtime, you don’t sleep as long and as well. Not getting sufficient sleep leads o a whole range of issues that can adversely affect your everyday life.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

To be more self-aware does not just help to bring about the best you have to offer to those around you, but has a ripple effect on everything else in your life as well. 

So aligning your activities according to your body’s natural cycle is a win for all. Employers are starting to see the value of having their employees be productive during their natural peak active hours.

Harvard Medical School performed a study in 2015 that found night owls who worked during the day was at higher risk of diabetes. 

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

A real-world experiment conducted at the ThyssenKrupp steel factory in Germany had interesting results.

Early risers got assigned the day shift while late shifts went to the night owls. Workers soon added an extra hour onto their sleep daily. That equates to almost a full nights sleep above what they previously had per week. 

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

By matching up work schedules with people’s biological clocks helped workers to get better rest. A chronobiologist at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Till Roenneberg, headed up the study and said:

“They got 16 percent more sleep, almost a full night’s length throughout the week. That is enormous.”

American educators are increasingly paying more attention to their students’ sleep needs, amid growing debates around adjusting school start times. The benefits of taking ‘chronotyping’ into account speak for itself and have more and more businesses following suit, encouraging their employees to work at the times their bodies’ energy is at its highest.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and director of the university’s circadian and sleep epidemiology lab, Celine Vetter, said:

"A full 80 percent of people have work schedules that clash with their internal clocks. The problem is huge. If we consider your individual chronotype and your work hours, the chances are very high that there’s quite a bit of misalignment.”

There are four chronotypes, according to a sleep specialist and psychologist, Dr. Michael Breus, and are labeled as bears, lions, dolphins, and wolves. 50% of the population is split up between the dolphins, wolves, and lions, while the other half make up the bears.

A diagnostic quiz
is available on Breus’s website, which you can take to determine which chronotype you belong to and what works best according to your rhythm.

Companies like Southwest Airlines allow their pilots to choose between evening and morning flight schedules, while the United States Navy switched from 18-hour submarine shift schedules to 24-hour shifts. 

Camilla Kring, a Danish consultant with companies like Medtronic, Roche, and AbbBie, have helped employees see the value in respecting natural sleep cycles.

Workplace accidents that took place because of fatigue have had enormous consequences, like the famous Challenger space shuttle explosion, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sleepy drivers cause 16.5% of fatal crashes.

If you have trouble waking up in the morning, an unusual trick can help you get things going. Give your hair a tug, lightly pulling on your hair helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp, in turn helping you snap out of the groggy state.

Have a glass of water before your first cup of coffee or tea in the morning. It aids in staying hydrated and revs up the metabolism. It is also essential to support your body’s natural sleep cycle, develop routines that suit your body’s natural biological rhythm, this included getting up and going to bed at the same time each day.

A dad recently illustrated the effects a lack of sleep could have, and although comical, it can be frightening to think one can be that cognitively impaired while still seeming to function.

The video shows the mum of a newborn taking footage of the new dad gently cradling and rocking their bundle of joy, but then the mum pans the camera towards herself, and the adorable newborn lying soundly asleep on her chest is clearly visible. 

When she pans the camera back to dad, one can see he is lovingly rocking a rolled up towel.

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